Using emergency law would damage the rule of law, Dennis Kwok says

Local | 3 Oct 2019 7:05 pm

Legal sector lawmaker Dennis Kwok Wing-hang said today the pro-democracy camp is against the anti-mask law as it cannot resolve the current situation, and that using emergency law would damage the city's rule of law.

He spoke to the media after local media reports, citing sources, said the Executive Council will hold a special meeting tomorrow to discuss invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance to enact the anti-mask law.

"The authorities by now should have listened to the Hong Kong people that their yearning for freedom, liberty and democracy are not going to go away, simply because you enact even more Draconian laws to suppress human rights of the Hong Kong people," Kwok said.

He also warned that invoking the emergency law would be the start of the beginning to a slip to the authoritarian state.

"They [the government] can use it to enact an anti mask law now, the next thing is they are going to extend the detention period, and the next is they are going to further curtail the Hong Kong people's rights and freedoms, including canceling District Council elections, all in the name of using the emergency regulation. And that is our biggest fear."

Enacted in 1922, the ordinance was invoked once during the 1967 leftist riots. It gives authorities greater powers during an emergency, including the Chief Executive in Council making "any regulations whatsoever which he or she may consider desirable in the public interest" without the consent of the Legislative Council.

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